The search for zebra mussels - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The search for zebra mussels

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WASHINGTON-- Fish and Wildlife officers will be looking for zebra and quagga mussels that can oftentimes latch onto the bottom of your boat or trailer. 

Here's why they're so concerned-- our local waters don't breed these mussels.  Fish and Wildlife officers want to keep it that way.  But they are found in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

If they hit our waters, they can be a nightmare; they can threaten local marine life and clog motors.  So random checks will be the norm for many boaters.

"We would inspect their vessel.  If they have them on there, we decontaminate it at that point or we would suggest a location where it can be decontaminated," explains Officer Allen Pleus with the WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

A lot of these check spots will be random.  And if you *knowingly* bring these mussels back to the state of Washington, you could face $5,000 in fines.